Toms River, NJ asked in Child Custody and Domestic Violence for New Jersey

Q: TRO violation (sent a harmless text) on a TRO gained on false pretenses

Prosecutor wants me to plea to 1 year probation, dna submission, mental and substance abuse evaluation, a fine, unable to bear arms or leave state during time of probation. My child’s father lied and was granted TRO giving him immediate temp custody of daughter. Before FRO hearing my child’s fathers lawyer who I didn’t even know he had a lawyer for the previous 6 months under retainer, calls me and says father will drop restraining order if I agree to their terms on a civil restraint. Before this was solidified I texted father who immediately filed complaint with police and I was charged with violation of TRO. I never threatened father in texts, have no criminal background. Pro Bono lawyer says best I can hope for is 6 month’s probation plus the rest. I believe this to be an intense punishment for someone who entrapped and since the TRO was only used to gain quick custody. What advice would a lawyer give?

2 Lawyer Answers
Leonard R. Boyer
Leonard R. Boyer
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Clifton, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Unfortunately, you get what you paid for. The simple fact is you had an TRO in place, and violated it. I realize this does seem like a harsh punishment, but no one here knows the facts of your case. I strongly suggest that you find the money one way or another for an experienced criminal defense attorney for the municipal court matter and an experienced matrimonial attorney for the FRO trial. Remember, a good attorney is rarely ever cheap and a cheap attorney is rarely ever good. This is your life and you should not be shopping in the bargain basement. I understand that times are tough and you may not have a choice, but this is a bad situation that will affect the rest of your life if you do not retain proper representation. Good luck.

Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: Our office does a lot of domestic violence work in the surrounding counties and either the prosecutor is being a little heavy handed in addressing the violation or the underlying domestic violence complaint involved more than a simple claim of harassment and your follow up text more than a simple inquiry. Even if the underlying domestic violence complaint is dismissed or converted to a civil restraining order, since you violated the temporary restraining order, that carries separate penalties. If this is the 1st and only violation of the restraining order ( and there were no prior restraining orders in place) and the underlying allegations of the complaint were based on harassment only, im sure the prosecutor will work with you to bring it down further.

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